Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hickety pickety my fine hen
She lays eggs for gentlemen -
Some pastel, some purple, some cheerful and gay
Some spotty, some silly, our fine hens doth lay!

Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to finally share with you -


A whole coop of Chickens, in fact.

Meet Tilly- our Buff Orpington

Edwina, our not-so-Barred-Rock Plymouth
and Snowball, our Leghorn,
so named by the girls after reading this book.

All fat and comfortable-looking,

with that ain't-no-one-gonna-ruffle-our -feathers look.

The idea came from the girls when we were reading
The Children of Willow Farm last year.

When Emily and Jenna are not being princesses,
fairies or Narnians, they like to play farm. Specifically,
they did a lot of egg-gathering after reading the
Willow Farm book. And I thought, well, they need
some real chickens. Life-size ones, that they
could tuck under their arms and carry about
like pretend-real farmers.
Chickens that look like chickens
and lay eggs
of the plastic dollar-store variety
(we have a ton of those from past Easters)
as well as the more outrageous wooden kind.
The girls and I painted these last fall. Jenna and Kate,
especially, love the feel and sound of the wooden eggs
knocking together in their little hands, but they are,
after all, only decorative (and luridly so!)

Unlike the plain, pastel, plastic kind
that, if sat on long enough,
might just hatch out somethings teeny and peepy.

Ah yes, an altogether happy brood.
This must be what Chicken Playdates look like:

Are you guffawing yet? Oh if you could have seen
when I finished Tilly last October (yes, the kids
have been
playing Chicken Farm for what, five
months now) and
popped out egg after egg in my
sewing room all by my
giddy self, so relieved was I
to finally get her out of my
head. And heard me laugh
out loud because she was
by far the funniest,
funniest, funniest thing I'd ever made.
The girls
couldn't believe their eyes when they
saw her
lay an egg.

Wish I'd gotten their reaction on video.

I love being a mom of little kids!

I am so glad that you finally got to
meet our Chickens (aren't they silly?)!
And just in time for Spring, too, when the
farmyard welcomes its animal babies.

Want your own egg-laying Chicken?

Here's the pattern

containing the templates and instructions to make both Chicken

and her Chick (plastic egg not included).

They were so easy to make that we hatched
enough to run Chicken Daycare while their
moms were out Doing Hen Stuff.

The pattern is an instant pdf download with 8 pages
of instructions and 4 pages of templates.
The Chickens lay eggs when they are squeezed
(they are popped in through an opening in their backs)
and it took Emily and Jenna only a little practice to
begin coaxing eggs out of Tilly, Snowball and Edwina!

Given that Chicken was inspired by a farm book,
and a person can't have a fun farm with only chickens,
there might just be more livestock appearing here soon!


  1. How fantastic! They're perfect! My mother has several of the real thing (even the same breeds!) but these look like they'd be lower maintenance!

  2. OMG they are too cute. I have a close held desire to have `real` hens but my husband says the garden is too small. Maybe I will have to make myself a few of those. You are too clever by far.

  3. I love the way you wrote this post! It's just what I needed after a very long night. Thank you and bless you!

  4. You have been giving us teases for so long! It is so nice to see the final product! Love it! you brought back memories of reading Noddy and the Famous Five...

  5. Fantastic! You've outdone yourself again. I just love them.

  6. These are fantastic! BTW, we borrowed Enid Blyton's "The Enchanted Wood" after reading about her book's on your blog, and I loved it! Emma was a little young to get into it, but maybe if I tried it again... I would love to see her books back in print!

  7. Brilliant ! You just made my day :)
    I still remember the little felt bird which you made in Pri 2 and gave out to the whole class as a birthday goody....

  8. WOW! What a fun and creative idea! I love seeing all of your creations - they are wonderful.

  9. I am so excited. I have wanted something like this but didn't bother yet to draw one up. Now I don't have to! Thank you! Question .... Would you be going to put the directions for making the laying boxes on the website at some point? My kids would love to make those too.

  10. oh my word, these chickens are fantastic! I would have *loved* to play with them when I was little (maybe even now, haha!)

  11. Amazing! My girls so NEED those. :) Your chicken pattern is the very first one I've purchased through a blog - LOVE it!

  12. How Stunning! we live in south africa and have chickens in our garden but my daughter running as fast as she can just can't catch them no matter how hard she tries. and am i am worried she will love them too much (squeeze them!!) Is there anyway we can get the pattern here? uksa@telkomsa.net

  13. What a delightful post! I live on a farm, but we have no chickens... I think it would be wonderful to have a few of your kind around!

    The photo of your daughter with the missing teeth is just toooo precious!

    I've only been following your blog for a short time, but I love all of your creations. You are one talented woman! Thanks for sharing it all!

  14. HA HA HA!! I am in LOVE with them!! :o) :o)

  15. You are AMAZING! The hens are gorgeous and the photos of your little farmer girls with their chickens tucked under their arms are just adorable!

    Lucy x

  16. Love the chickens and was so glad to see the Owie doll pattern. I thought I had been keeping a lookout for that, but must have missed it when you put it back up for purchase. Got them both today, can't wait to get started on them.

  17. Oh wow! I will definitely be back to purchase this pattern after payday! I have yet to purchase a pattern online, but this will definitely be the first!!!

    I love the chickens, and my 2 year old is sitting here making chicken sounds looking at them!

    LOVE the way they lay eggs! You are genius!!

  18. You are brilliant! Amazingly brilliant! Thanks for so unselfishly posting, writing, creating, designing, etc. etc. etc. for us moms who have equal desire less the brilliance!
    Suzanne in Phoenix, AZ. It's my birthday today ... I think I want ... well ... chickens!

  19. You are brilliant! Amazingly brilliant! Thanks for so unselfishly posting, writing, creating, designing, etc. etc. etc. for us moms who have equal desire less the brilliance!
    Suzanne in Phoenix, AZ. It's my birthday today ... I think I want ... well ... chickens!

  20. They are adorable!!! Beautiful design.

  21. ¥ou are just too much. These are the cutest and my son has a very odd obsession with eggs so this works. Thanks, I was needing a good dose of inspiration.

  22. Not only is the creation of these hens and chicks so very wonderful, but the way you wrote this post is absolutely brilliant. It helps that your photographic skills are good, too. A wonderful read whether a person sews or not!

    By the way, I have loved your preparation for the trip to see family and the sloper education even though I don't sew. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

  23. I am still giggling.

    I'm going to buy the pattern now.

    I love your blog. The ideas are wonderful. My husband and I made a PVC pipe frame house and cloth covering after seeing what you did with your garage sale find.

    Keep going with the articles on slopers/blocks. I never knew such things existed. I'm envisioning a world of clothes that actually fit :)

    Mrs. Bowen

  24. These are so great as was your writing. What a fabulous way to keep your girls entertained!

  25. in awe! I am in complete awe!!

  26. WOW!!! Wow, wow, WOW!! That is one awesome pattern!! I just featured it on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  27. The chickens are amazing! I love how they lay eggs. :) I can't believe you've kept it secret for so long - I thought you'd given up on chicken sewing when we didn't see anything!

  28. As usual, you aren't chicken when it comes to fabulous ideas. Hee hee.

  29. Oh my, these are AWESOME! And just in time for Easter! I was SO close to just buy them ... even though I knew there is no way I would be able to make them until Easter! The only thing that kept me from it was my head telling me what projects I still have open and waiting to be finished. (The scary part was actually not the projects itself but the fact that it kinda did not stop ...) :-( I do love the idea that apperently I will not be bored until I become 80 ... but sometimes it also really freaks me out!
    You did such a good job making those chicks and you are SO CREATIVE! You are so amazing I cannot even be jealous! :-)

  30. Those are so worth the wait! How wonderful and even cooler than I imagined!

    A side note: I have and Aunt who worked for NASA in the 60's. This was the version of that poem that she taught me:

    Probable-Possible, my black hen,
    She lays eggs in the Relative When.
    She doesn't lay eggs in the Positive Now
    Because she's unable to Postulate How.

  31. The egg-laying chickens are like that pig you used bring to youth camps! The one that was filled with baby piggies, zipped up in its belly! Hehehe!

  32. Ok, I'm catching up on comments now. Thank you all for stopping by and chuckling at Chicken along with me! I hope you'll be back to read the comments here since I can't find a fair number of your email addresses to reply to, sorry about that.

    MaryAnne: I am so impressed that you found the Enchanted Wood book! I found a very old copy at a used book store in Singapore this trip and held it in something akin to reverence, it was so rare. Am glad the kids like it!

    Lucy: I don't have plans at this time to draw up patterns for the nesting boxes at this time. I think I saw a photo of some in our local newspaper (with real hens inside) and just used their general shape.

    SMDAZ: Happy birthday (belated now, because I took this long to finally come here and write anything)!

    Laura: No, I hadn't given up on the chickens. I made the brown chicken and then let the kids fight over her for 3 months before deciding I needed to make 2 more. I think I got carried away with other projects too, while trying to figure out the chicks at the back of my mind. The original chicks were pop poms and they turned out awful, like some bedraggled roadkill. The final version made me much happier.

    Chris: I LOVE your aunt's version of the rhyme! How cool is it to have an aunt (or any person you know personally, really) who worked for NASA? My other dream! My other dream! (To work in NASA, I mean).

    Leen: You read my mind! I still have Pig! AND she's been giving me a lot of inspiration lately!

  33. do you have any advice on how to turn your chicken into a duck? my daughter wants a duck. I can't find any cute duck patterns out there (we have real chickens, so we don't need stuffed ones), but I thought maybe in white, with the beak changed to a bill... and maybe a curly tail? you seem much more artistic than I, so I'd love advice/hints...

  34. HEEEEElarious!!! I want to come play at your house! You consistently inspire me to be more playful with my kids - thank you! I want to get that book, too -not one I knew about.

  35. That is TOO CUTE! I absolutely love it!

  36. Just purchased the pattern and can't wait to make my own egg-laying chicken!!!

  37. I just love, love, love these adorable chicks! I just purchased the pattern and can´t wait to start sewing. The chickens will be a new Easter tradition on our home. Thank you!

  38. oh.my.heck. i love love love love LOVE these. seriously, SERIOUSLY?!!! as soon as i re-sew their barn that the neighbor boy ripped, i am getting to work on these chickens. holy heck, ADORABLE!

  39. These are wonderful! I especially like Tilly, thats my little girls name :) Thank you for all the inspiration.

  40. These are not silly - they are - are - I have no words to describe them! Your kids are lucky indeed!

  41. CUTE!! I`ve been following you(secretly) and your blog and have fallen in love with your creations!=) I made my own simple pattern for the chicks and turns out-sometimes doing it simple is the way to go. Of course, if I wasn`t always so busy I would have mine looking like yours-or in other words CUTER! ...Guess I spent too much time telling my family about CHICKEN... Anyways, thanks for posting!

    (BTW-your girls are adorable!)

  42. Thanks for the comment on my blog you seriously made by day. After I tackle the playhouse I will definitely have to buy some of your patterns. How could I not? Your farm animals and Owie dolls are so cute. You are so clever and talented!

  43. WOW! soo glad I found this.. I was just crocheting eggs for my daughter last night and was thinking wouldn't it be cool if I had a chicken to go along with them! :)

  44. Lier. AWESOME.
    And congrats on being featured on How About Orange. Very cool!

  45. wow, that has to be the cutest thing I've seen in ages !!!!!

  46. I think your blog page is one of my favorites. I to like to make things. You have inspired me to make a farm wall at my daycare to introduce animals. Thank you and keep inspiring me. The cardobard activities, doughnuts, chickens, pigs, all are so wonderful! Thank you from all the children at my daycare center. We would like to adopt one of your piglets if you would ever consider that. We could send you pictures of the baby piglet with the kids. It would be great pen pals.

  47. This is the best every.....made me goose bump crazy!!!!!!!

  48. Wow! Very creative! Love these great ideas! Thanks for sharing with the world!

  49. Oh my goodness, these are so, so cute. And I am so thrilled that my lovely little white bantam, Snowball helped to inspire these! Thanks for linking to my book.
    -Terry at HenCam.com

  50. I know I'm several years late to the party but these are AMAZING. I was looking for an animal to be my go-to baby gift. I considered a fox and an octopus, but your chickens are the winners! Thanks!

  51. These are SO fabulous! I think they are better than real chickens :-)

  52. I love these! They are so creative! I have several chickens and have never seen a sewing pattern that that is more realistic!

  53. I was searching for beanie chef hat patterns, when I got bored at seeing poufy chef hats. I past ur patterns a couple times for how-to items....then was on pinterest and saw ur pig, loved her. Read the story and u referred to the chickens. I used to raise chickens and we'll I love making all sorts of crafts. But when I read ur story, OMG girl, you made my day, week, year. I laughed and giggled so hard I nearly fell off my couch. You are a great story teller and comical reteller. Do not stop what you are doing! I shall return to purchase both patterns and templates. You are just like me, I tell my nieces and nephew I have to test everything first....lol.

  54. Genius Idea!! I made one and did a blog about it...
    Hope you like it :)

  55. I love your patterns! I can't wait to see more of the menagerie. I have purchased the pig pattern and the chicken pattern. The pig and piggies were a breeze but I am having a bit of a problem with the egg channel and chicken. Is there a video? I have managed to attach the channel but I feel sure that when I go to sew this together the channel is not going to end up where it is supposed to be. Any advice?

    1. Shelley, shoot me an email with your questions, and i can help walk you through them. The only advice I have off the top of my head (without seeing what you've sewn so far) is that the egg channel does look counter-intuitive when it's situated for the full-chicken-assembly stage. It HAS to curl around the "outside" so that when the chicken is turned RS out, the channel will be on the inside. I hope my guess was right that that's the part that was weird-looking and made you feel unsure. Anyway, email me if you have any questions!

  56. Eeeeeee! I have to make some for my goddaughter she is 4 and loves to watch chickens but is a little scared of them

  57. the chicken pattern is wonderful, and I plan to order it. Where is the instructions for the egglaying box,, which is equally adorable. My kids would love this.We can no longer keep real chickens as we moved in town.

    1. There are no instructions for the cardboard box, unfortunately! Hopefully the pictures will be sufficient to give an idea of their shape.

  58. I just wanted to thank you for such a great pattern. I made the hen and chicks for my daughter for Christmas. She requested a rainbow chicken and we loved the result! Well done!

  59. Hello! I'm afraid the link to pattern stopped working. Is it possible for you to update it? Thanks!

    1. Hi, I just checked the link and it's still working. It will take you to the Patterns To Buy page. Scroll down to find the Chicken Pattern picture, and then click on
      "buy the pattern" underneath it.

  60. Hi. I can’t access the pattern. If anybody can tell me how to fix it, I would love to hear. Thanks.


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